There is a Brazilian site (Odontopalm) that claims to have details of the 8.9″ Dell Mini Inspiron, only they are referring to it as the Inspiron 910, (and they mention it was called the E at one point).
Now it wouldn’t surprise me if we get details from outside the US – it happens all the time that things get leaked by accident, and Dell’s netbook is definitely targeted towards exposing people to computers who might not have been exposed to them in the past (or at least lowering the barrier of entry). South America would definitely be a big market for them.
They are talking about a launch date of August 22 (next week). I consider that reasonable – we thought they would announce it earlier this week when they announced the new Latitude E series, however, in retrospect, it would have been foolish to do so. Much better to have them a week or two apart so that you can maximize the publicly for each series.
This is going to be a special device for Dell, given their push into the Indian and Chinese markets (Dell 500, etc.) as well as other developing markets.
It’s also the complete opposite of the Latitudes they just announced, which are at the high-end of Dell’s mobile products.
As far as the naming convention – the “910” could signify that it was a 9-inch model (8.9″ but many just round it up), and obviously they wouldn’t want to use 900 or 901 (or 90x anything) since that’s what Asustek is doing.
Things we knew that they mentioned:
– 8.9″ 1024×600 Display
– 1.6GHz Intel Atom
– Optional Bluetooth
– Elimination of Function keys F1 – F12, with keys being added to next row down as secondary keys
– Windows XP SP2 and Ubuntu (based on offering Ubuntu on other Dell laptops)
– 512MB or 1GB of RAM (Based on standard Intel chipset)
– Multiple colors
Things they specifically mention:
– Possibly 802.11n
– 4-cell battery
– Modem = USB only
– Weight 1.07 kg / 2.36 pounds
– SIM card slot for 3G
– External USB optical drive options
Those are very reasonable things they mentioned that nobody had talked about before, based on what we’ve seen
from other Dell offerings as well as other netbooks.
However, these threw me off:
– 4GB / 8GB / 12GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
– Price of around R$ 1,200 (around $735 USD)
Given that Dell is making a huge push into SSD, I would have expected bigger options. I also would have expected conventional hard drives as well (you could make a case for or against conventional drives in the netbook segment).
I don’t believe that price (and to be fair, the website says that it is still being discussed). If it’s above $500, Dell is going to have a hard time explaining why they can’t match Acer and possibly Lenovo.
They’ll have an even harder time given that both their 14.1″ and 15.4″ existing Inspiron laptops start out at $649 and $499 respectively (as well as the Dell 500 which is starting out in that range and which is targeted towards some of the same markets as many netbooks).
Yes, you could easily point out portability, etc., but if you are trying to sell to the markets that have been mentioned, you’ll have a hard time explaining why they shouldn’t pick up a much more powerful, larger laptop that’s potentially cheaper than your netbook.